Policing

I Was Only Going To Stab You

Heather Mac Donald on the new woke rules:

Sunday’s anti-cop riots in Lancaster, Pa., have made the current de facto rules of engagement clear: Officers may never defend themselves against lethal force if their attacker is a minority. They should simply accept being shot or stabbed as penance for their alleged racism.

Mr Ricardo Munoz, 27, the noble, oppressed citizen in whose name our betters rage, can be seen being lively here. Mr Munoz had a history of involvement in stabbing incidents, including the stabbing of women and children, and a history of resisting arrest. 

The stuff of sainthood, clearly.

One could easily get the impression that as a civilisation we’re suffering the equivalent of kidney failure, in that the toxins that inevitably accumulate are no longer being expelled. We even have a loud and influential demographic, including children of the elite, telling us, quite forcibly, that kidney failure is a good thing, something we should want. Such is wokeness.

Update, via the comments:

The implications of the unrest that followed the demise of Mr Munoz fit rather well with an all-too-common strain of leftist thought - or posturing, at least – according to which, we should not defend ourselves against habitual predation and malevolence, even if our lives may be in peril. And according to which, the creatures violating us, treating us as mere prey, people from whom things can be taken, are the ones most deserving of our sympathy and indulgence. Pretentious sympathy, of course. But still. 

See also the second item here, on leftist theories of crime, and the airy pronouncements of Mr Clive Stafford Smith - a man who believes that the wellbeing of burglars is more important than the wellbeing of their numerous victims, especially if the burglar is a “young black person.” And who regards anger at being burgled and the subsequent sense of violation as plebeian and unsophisticated, while disdaining the victims’ expectations of justice as, and I quote, “idiotic attitudes.”

Update 2, via Ed at Instapundit:

Continue reading "I Was Only Going To Stab You" »


Headline Of Note

Further to rumblings in the comments, 

Flamethrower-Packing Antifa ‘Entered Foetal Position And Began Crying’ After Unsuccessful Escape From Cops.

Yes, one minute, it’s masks, mobs, and Sturmabteilung tactics, complete with Flammenwerfer. The next, it’s “I’m just a little flower girl, please don’t hurt me.”

Mr Matthew Banta, our fearless Antifa warrior, also likes biting people


Elsewhere (297)

Heather Mac Donald on post-watershed facts

YouTube’s age-restriction policy lists vulgar language, violence and disturbing imagery, nudity and sexually suggestive content, and portrayal of harmful or dangerous ­activities as factors that could lead to an age restriction. None of those categories has any bearing on my talk. I used federal data to show that the claim that police are wantonly killing black men is a product of selective coverage by a politicised press and an elite establishment dedicated to the idea that racism is America’s defining trait. There was nothing racy or ­incendiary about the talk — unless you find criminological ­research titillating — unlike the soft-pornographic and anarchist videos that YouTube allows on its site without age restriction.

Ms Mac Donald’s apparently scandalous video – which was promptly deleted by YouTube and only restored, for consenting adults, following appeals by the talk’s organisers - can be viewed in full here. As Larry Elder adds

Not only does [your evidence] give perspective, it’s uplifting. Isn’t it good to know that whatever is going on is nothing to do with “institutional, systemic, structural” racism? Isn’t that good news?

And not entirely unrelated, Coleman Hughes on the life and work of Thomas Sowell

Sowell has encountered countless smears, though the usual avenues of attack—accusations of racism, privilege, and all the rest—have not been available. Someone should have told Aidan Byrne, who reviewed one of Sowell’s books for the London School of Economics blog. Doubtless convinced that he was delivering a devastating blow, Byrne quipped: “easy for a rich white man to say.” It’s hard not to laugh at this hapless reviewer’s expense, but many mainstream commentators differ from Byrne only in that they usually remember to check Google Images before launching their ad hominems. The prevailing notion today is that your skin colour, your chromosomes, your sexual orientation, and other markers of identity determine how you think. And it is generally those who see themselves as the most freethinking—“woke,” while the rest of us are asleep—who apply the strictest and most backward formulas.

A selection of videos featuring Dr Sowell can be found here, here, here, and here

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.


Utopia Under Construction

Andy Ngo reports from Seattle’s super-woke world of tomorrow:

Those unfortunate enough to have homes or businesses within CHAZ — an estimated 30,000 residents — have no say over their new overlords. Residents have discreetly voiced their concerns to local media. Gunshots and “screams of terror” at night have been reported... Every business and property inside CHAZ has been vandalised with graffiti. Most messages say some variation of “Black Lives Matter” or “George Floyd,” but other messages call for the murder of police. Most businesses are boarded up. “ACAB” — all cops are bastards, an Antifa slogan — is written over them.

Needless to say, there’s more, much more, including armed warlords, triumphant racism, bomb-making, and the sexual assault of deaf women. But hey, we mustn’t judge. After all, we’ve been assured that it’s a precursor, a blueprint, of a brighter, kinder, more liberated world.


Know Your Place

In the new, progressive pecking order: 

I just saw a notice go out to the alumni of Caltech, saying we had to eliminate anyone who still resisted these measures to increase awareness of our terrible bigotry. And quite honestly, the key problem that we’re facing here is that we are all for some reason terrified of telling the black community, “you’re wrong.” The black community that is behind Black Lives Matter is frequently wrong… They make terrible arguments... [But] if you contradict [these terrible arguments] then it must mean that you don’t think black lives matter… and that’s not how science works… If a person says, “Two times three equals a chicken,” that person is wrong. I don’t care how trans they are. We have to have the ability, inside of a free society, to treat each other as equals. And if I can’t tell you you’re wrong, you’re not my equal.

Eric Weinstein pokes at academia’s deference to Black Lives Matter. Via Rafi. 

It’s worth noting just how often professed egalitarians delight in overt hierarchies. Of which type of person matters, and does not.

Update, via the comments. The point made above, but in slightly more direct terms.

Also, open thread.


Above Us, Our Betters

Speaking, as we were, of enthusiasts of crime, meet communist poet Wendy Trevino:

A super-brave warrior for a brighter tomorrow.

When I see tweets of this nature – repeated slogan, repeated slogan, repeated slogan – I tend to think the tweeter is either adolescent or unwell. Ms Trevino is supposedly a grown woman. One who appears to have a complicated relationship with her father. Sometimes the clichés are just too on-the-nose. When not advocating shoplifting and being titillated by visions of collapsing social norms, Ms Trevino, our communist poet and Antifa Gal, wants us to know how pleased she is by criminals escaping prison and taking hostages. What said prisoners may have done to be there in the first place, and what they may do again now that they’re at large, doesn’t seem to interest her.

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "Above Us, Our Betters" »


Self Service

This is the nice version of what happens when the state justice system fails and private individuals must step in to fill the void. There is also a less nice version.

Over at Samizdata, Natalie Solent is pondering this item of crime and policing news. Or rather, non-policing news:

It was no surprise to anyone who knew Nicholas Richards, a career criminal with 25 convictions including 18 for shoplifting, that his motives were not entirely honourable when he walked into Boots. Witnesses described him stealing £170-worth of Gucci perfume; CCTV footage recovered from the chemist’s flagship branch in Piccadilly showed him putting the goods in his bag; and cameras worn by private security officers who detained him recorded him admitting the offence.

So staff at Boots, which loses between £10,000 and £12,000 a week to shoplifting, were upset when police officers arrived on the crime scene, decided the case was a “civil” matter and released Richards, who was already on a suspended sentence for theft. Boots was furious about the failure to dispense justice and decided to take part in what is believed to be the first private prosecution for shoplifting supported by a corporate victim.

The case is being brought by TM Eye. Set up by two former Metropolitan police officers, it is the parent company of My Local Bobby (MLB), which provides neighbourhood policing to residents, firms and shops. Its 30 “bobbies,” who wear red vests and caps, provide 24-hour cover. They are mostly former police officers and soldiers.

In the comments following which, a reader adds,

Anyone with 25 previous convictions should not be on our streets.

Some time ago, I suggested, not entirely flippantly, that a “three-strikes-and-we-put-you-out-to-sea-on-a-fucking-raft” policy might be quite popular. Readers are welcome to use the comments below to share alternatives.


190,000 Likes

This isn’t someone who barely squeaked through her degree. She was celebrated as the best there was at her school.

Janice Fiamengo ponders the mental state of a feminist and openly misandrist social worker

Kristina Agbebiyi, the lady in question, was hailed as “student of the year” by the University of Michigan’s social work department for her “commitment to political activities,” her embodiment of the “professional ethics of social work,” and for her “contribution to the positive image” of said field. Repeatedly boasting of a hatred of men is, we learn, not only a “commitment,” “a way of life” and a “revolutionary task,” but something to applaud. A credential of some kind. It “isn’t a game,” says Ms Agbebiyi.

Update, via the comments:

Readers may find themselves marvelling at how someone so fêted, and who evidently expects no challenging of her pronouncements by either peers or employers, nonetheless exults in theatrical victimhood and insists that she is “living oppression from the inside.” That the supposedly radical politics of which Ms Agbebiyi is so proud is usually an ostentatious leisure activity, an indulgence of the privileged, somehow passes unremarked. Though I do like the description of Ms Agbebiyi as a “narcissistic self-infatuate.”

Needless to say, the cause of this alleged “oppression” isn’t made clear, let alone persuasive. Apparently, it’s now the custom to invoke victimhood, as if it were a goal, a basis for acclaim, without actually specifying what it is that’s supposedly oppressing you. After browsing the lady’s Twitter feed, the best I can deduce is that the fact that prisons exist, at all, anywhere, is an unendurable burden on Ms Agbebiyi’s tissue-paper psyche. We should, it seems, wish for the “abolition” of prisons and “the ending of cops.” Because the world would be so much better if rapists, carjackers and sociopathic predators could act with impunity, uninhibited by even a small risk of punishment.

Some of Professor Fiamengo’s previous adventures in feminist psychology can be found here and here


It’s Petty When It Happens To Someone Else

Currently, 17 percent of American homeowners have a smart video surveillance device, and unit sales are expected to double by 2023… The popularity of these devices has led to the “porch pirate gotcha” film genre, a sort of America’s Funniest Home Videos of petty crime.

In the pages of The Atlantic, our sympathies are solicited. Though not for the people being robbed, of course:

The first time Ganave Fairley got busted for stealing a neighbour’s Amazon package, she was just another porch thief unlucky to be caught on tape.

The words first time and unlucky should perhaps be borne in mind.

The deliveries that were dropped daily on her neighbours’ porches caught her attention. At that point, she didn’t know about the cameras or [neighbourhood watch app] Nextdoor. In the months that followed, the police would find a cache of the neighbours’ belongings and mail in her possession… Her sister told me that Fairley generally sold the packages “for a little bit of nothing, just to get high.”

I sense that some of you may not be feeling overly sympathetic.

Ms Fairley - who invokes racism as a cause of her local notoriety, and whose extensive cache of stolen belongings included other people’s credit cards - is described to us at length and in the softest possible light. We learn of her dysfunctional upbringing, her struggles with a mouldy apartment, and her various drug habits, including “trekking daily to a methadone clinic” - a heroic feat, apparently. Ms Fairley’s failure to attend numerous court dates – for petty theft, mail theft, receiving stolen property, possession of heroin, and child endangerment - is, we learn, due to her having “a lot going on” in her life. In at least one instance, it turns out that what was going on was stealing from a resident she’d previously targeted and who, while being robbed again, was waiting to see Ms Fairley appear in court.

The fact that Ms Fairley is gay is mentioned too, as if that were somehow relevant or an explanation for credit card fraud and chronic thieving. We’re also told, touchingly, that she has “family members’ names tattooed on her neck.”

Continue reading "It’s Petty When It Happens To Someone Else" »


London Scenes

Two items lifted from the comments: 

When the public have to do what the police apparently won’t.

Our betters at large.

Imagine being so self-absorbed and self-flattering, so untroubled by normal boundaries, that you don’t anticipate how your own disruptive behaviour will tend to be viewed by the wider public - the people on whom your behaviour is being inflicted. A wider public that for the most part can’t afford to spend days on end indulging in Student Union theatrics.

Update

In the comments over at Samizdata, Mike Solent adds

This is an interesting example of public order being served by the absence of the police rather than its presence.

Well, yes. Quite. 

Update 2:

Know your place.


Pathology Dressed As Politics

Via Darleen and lifted from yesterday’s comments:

What’s interesting about Antifa’s mob assault of the journalist Andy Ngo isn’t that an organisation premised on recreational thuggery has once again indulged in recreational thuggery. That’s why it exists. What’s interesting is that so many left-leaning journalists have been so eager to excuse or diminish that thuggery and to frame Mr Ngo either as the aggressor or as somehow deserving of assault by people with borderline personality disorders.

The implication being that the poor, put-upon Antifa goons, who are all terribly oppressed, felt threatened by the presence of the unimposing Mr Ngo, and therefore retaliated, albeit pre-emptively, by jumping him from behind, robbing him, and putting in the boot. That’s why they went back in time to stock up on iron bars, knuckledusters and, it seems, cement milkshakes. Obviously.

Previously in the not-at-all-sociopathic world of Antifa:

“Are you willing to die for YouTube shit? That’s what’s gonna come, man. Death is coming to you, dude. Real shit. Feel that energy? That’s why your heart’s pounding.”  

And again here:

“You’re inherently violent,” screams an unhinged blue-and-purple-haired woman named Hannah McClintock, while repeatedly spitting on people and trying to punch them in the face.

Update:

If you poke through the comments, you’ll find additional illustrations of the psychology of Antifa and their cheerleaders, including contortions by leftist educators and the morally ludicrous Laurie Penny.

Also, open thread.


Playing No Part In Their Own Lives

Theodore Dalrymple on choice, crime and the importance of punishment:  

One of the explanations of ill behaviour, if you like, is a kind of mechanical one. People have certain experiences and they react to them in a certain self-destructive way, as if their behaviour was that of a billiard ball being impacted by another billiard ball… [But] agency is extremely important. You don’t deny that things are more difficult for some people than for others, but if you deny the agency of people, then you begin to treat them as objects rather than as subjects.

There’s been a very strong current in British intellectual circles that criminality is akin to an illness, and therefore it’s wrong to treat it as something that people have any control over. And of course this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In England, the leniency of our criminal justice system - precisely, I think, because of our tendency to sociologise everything, to say that people are not agents… this actually promotes criminality… It’s as if criminals didn’t have thought processes like us, [as if] they’re completely different from people like us. But they’re not different from people like us, on the whole…  

It’s very curious how people say that prison doesn’t work because a high proportion of prisoners when they come out commit offences again, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere in a British publication that this might indicate that actually they should be in prison for longer. Another very obvious consideration, which is completely beyond the British intellectual class, is that the number of victims of crime is very much greater than the number of perpetrators. So each perpetrator actually creates large numbers of victims, and therefore it’s not kind to people who live in areas where there’s a lot of criminality not to deal properly with the criminals. We deal with criminality as if it is a benefit received by the poor, instead of what it is, one of the great hardships of being poor.

Mr Dalrymple’s views are somewhat at odds with those found in the pages of the Guardian, where readers are told with great certainty that burglary is “really quite inconsequential,” unworthy of punishment, and that anger at being burgled and the subsequent sense of violation are somehow trivial, plebeian and unsophisticated. Such that expectations of lawfulness and justice - and not being preyed upon, repeatedly, with impunity - are airily dismissed as “idiotic attitudes.”